Annarita Baldan, Chair of the EMN Energy Gases, presenting the future objectives of the network at NPL

NPL hosts European energy gas workshop for key stakeholders

Successful EMN workshop has enabled critical stakeholder groups to have a say in energy gas measurement activities across Europe

Successful EMN workshop has enabled critical stakeholder groups to have a say in energy gas measurement activities across Europe

Driven by EU legislation and the recent Paris agreement, renewable energy gas sources are beginning to gradually enter the market. Existing grid systems in Europe were originally developed only for conventional gases, i.e. natural gas, and so expanding this system to incorporate renewable and mixed gases has brought its own challenges for energy gas industries – relating to quality, efficiency, safety and various trade aspects. The European Metrology Network (EMN) for Energy Gases has been established for this very purpose; to act as the focal point for solving all measurement challenges and needs raised by this European-wide renewable energy transition.


The workshop

In January 2020, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) – the UK’s national measurement institute – hosted a 1-day European energy gases workshop on behalf of the EMN for Energy Gases. The workshop was set up with the purpose of discussing and prioritising energy gas measurement challenges that may arise as we discover more efficient ways to decarbonise Europe’s energy systems. To pool together a wide-ranging group of experts for discussions about energy gas measurement needs, representatives from national gas providers, manufactures, the European Commission, national and European standardisation organisations, and national metrology institutes were all invited to contribute to the event.

“Topic areas such as decarbonising natural gas, as well as hydrogen, biogas and CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage) were discussed and attendees had the chance to identify new measurement services and products that they felt needed to be offered by European laboratories through the Energy Gases EMN”

said Annarita Baldan, Chair of the Metrology Network.

As a result of workshop discussions, the following measurement needs have been given highest priority:

  • Flow metering for hydrogen refuelling stations;
  • Energy metering of hydrogen and other non-conventional gases injected in the gas grid (including flow metering, determining calorific values and the gas quality);
  • Validation of online analysers for gas quality assessment (for example, for hydrogen and biomethane), and;
  • Representative sampling of gases.

For some of these challenges, projects under EURAMET’s European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) are already on-going (such as ‘Metrology for hydrogen vehicles’ [MetroHyVe], ‘Flow metering of renewable gases’ [NEWGASMET], and ‘Metrology for biomethane’ [Biomethane]). However, there is still a way to go to address all the aforementioned requirements, and more work needs to be done within the consortium of the EMN for Energy Gases and in collaboration with stakeholders.

One important outcome from the workshop has been the stronger collaborative ties formed with the European Gas Research Group (GERG). In fact, Robert Judd, the Secretary General of this research group – and a speaker at the workshop – added a comment on LinkedIn after the event, “Thanks again for the opportunity - I look forward to working more closely with EURAMET and your stakeholders.”

Take part in our survey on energy gases needs

Following the event, an online survey has been started to validate these identified needs, and to find out about additional measurement challenges facing energy gas industries. This survey will provide wider stakeholder groups with the unique opportunity to communicate more specific requirements to the network.

The EMN will then formulate the overall collection of measurement needs into a single strategy paper - the Strategic Research Agenda - which will be used by EMN members to develop their coordinated metrology strategies. By taking part in the survey, stakeholders will have the chance to shape the future working plans of metrology institutes across Europe, by influencing their research activities, metrology services, knowledge transfer initiatives, and much more.

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